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Low-fat creamy soup recipes

Winter is the season for soup. But, instead of opening up a can of the creamy condensed stuff, make your own homemade soup with fresh ingredients and half the fat and calories. By adding extra flavor with herbs and spices and other quality ingredients, you can cut the cream and butter but still have the same comforting taste of your favorite creamy soup.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Tips for making creamy low-fat soups

Cooking tip #1: Puree

One of the best secrets to a thick and creamy soup is to puree some vegetables to use as the base. This keeps the fat and calories low but the flavor high.

Cooking tip #2: Reduce the fat

Instead of using heavy cream, use evaporated milk, half and half or reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream. Low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt is also a great substitution for cream. Yogurts can sometimes be sweet so balance out the flavors with plenty of herbs and spices.

Cooking tip #3: Make a roux

For signature flavor and thickness, make a simple butter and flour roux for your soup base or add a paste of cornstarch and water. Then add a few vegetables and blend in a blender or food processor until it is creamy. You can also add some half and half if desired, but don’t add too much.

Cooking tip #4: Add protein

If you are a fan of tofu, substituting half of the cream in a recipe with tofu will lower the fat and add extra protein. It’s also a great option if you are cooking vegetarian-style.

Cooking tip #5: Spice it up

Be sure to use plenty of fresh herbs and spices. If you are using low-fat or fat-free products, a little extra salt, pepper, and fresh herbs and spices help ensure you get lots of flavor and don’t miss the fat.

Low-fat creamy soup recipes

Low-fat Cream of Asparagus

Makes 6 servings Ingredients:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1-1/2 pounds asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 leeks, chopped (white part only)
1 medium potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
3-1/2 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook asparagus, onion, celery, leeks and potatoes, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add broth and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 2. In batches, pour soup into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour soup back into pot and stir in sour cream. Heat, stirring, until combined — do not boil. Serve warm.

Low-fat Cream of Mushroom Soup

Makes 6 servings Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 leeks, chopped (white part only)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch fresh ground pepper
1 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
32 ounces beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon dried thyme Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook leeks, garlic, onions and red pepper, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until leeks are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until tender. 4. Stir in flour, stock, milk and thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly. In batches, pour soup into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy. A stick blender can also be used. Reheat when ready to serve. Simmer, do not boil.

Spicy Squash Soup

Makes 6 servings Ingredients:
2 (12-ounce) packages frozen pureed squash
2 (14.5-ounce) cans fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 large potato, peeled, diced
1 red green bell pepper, cored, seeded, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Fresh lime wedges Directions:
Heat squash and broth in a large pot over medium heat. Simmer about 10 minutes or until squash is thawed. Add potato and peppers and bring to a simmer. Cook about 10 more minutes or until soup has thickened and potato is tender. Season with salt, cumin and lime juice. Serve hot garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.

Can’t get enough soup? Here are a few more soup recipes & tips

Warm and hearty soups
Soups to savor
Chef’s secrets for making superb soups

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